Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has escalated his feud with Disney this week, according to CNN. He has challenged lawmakers to eliminate the theme park’s special status stating that the entertainment company is allowed to operate as an independent government around its Orlando-based area.
In a jaw-dropping announcement that dropped just hours before lawmakers returned to Tallahassee for a special session to finalize the new congressional maps, DeSantis changed the week’s agenda for it to include a review of the theme parks, “independent special districts that were established prior to November 5, 1968.” This consists of the Reedy Creek Improvement Act, passed by the Legislature in 1967 to help establish Walt Disney World.
The Republican lawmakers have filed a bill that would dissolve the special distract surrounding Disney soon after DeSantis’ announcement—leaving the park’s protection to dismantle on June 1st, 2023. The Governor wants lawmakers to also eliminate the carve-out for Disney that in state law allows people to sue Big Tech companies for censorship. A federal judge has since blocked the law, but Florida is appealing the ruling.
DeSantis has been feuding with the company after the recent fallout surrounding a controversial measure that bans schools from teaching young children about sexual orientation or gender identity.
DeSantis, who is currently seen widely as a 2024 presidential contender, signed the bill into law in March, despite the objections of Disney, Florida’s largest private employer. Walt Disney company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, has since announced that the company would stop making political donations after decades of generous contributions to Republicans.
After the DeSantis signing, Disney said in a statement that their “goal” was to get the law repealed or see it defeated in the courts.